Gerhard Richter: Panorama

Topics: History of painting, Cubism, Modernism Pages: 2 (544 words) Published: February 3, 2013
Tate Modern02/01/12

* “Gerhard Richter: Panorama”

The Tate presented a retrospective of the work of Gerhard Richter, which featured his abstraction work alongside landscapes and portraits. The exhibition was undoubtedly popular; when I visited the rooms where packed with visitors all viewing Richter’s photopaintings, questioning amongst themselves whether they were real paintings or if they were photographs.

In the same way that an amateur photographer blurs a photograph, Richter creates a haze of paint in his photopaintings of the 60’s, blurring the image in the same way one remembers a long forgotten memory. These paintings, often political, capture a moment in time, a memory, and allow the viewer an insight into this moment. It is clear throughout his work that Richter has been interested in politics and war, especially in Germany where he has attempted to challenge Germany’s Nazi past. It is also apparent how many modernist artists such as Duchamp influenced Richter; you don’t even have to hear the title of “Ema (Nude on a Staircase) 1966” to know the work that inspired this painting. “Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2 1912” painted by Marcel Duchamp was rejected by both the Cubist and Futurist movements, but is today known as one of the most important paintings of the Modernist movement. Richter was able to capture the movement in his version of the painting, that the Duchamp descending a staircase painting was so famous for.

In Richter’s work of 1983 he paints a series of skulls, perhaps as a way of dealing with his own mortality. After avoiding the terrorist attacks of 11/09/01 in New York, after his plane was re-routed to Canada, Richter painted the twin towers. This painting is not exhibition, however I feel it is an important part of his life, and is a painting that I would be interested in viewing in the future.

I have to say that personally, I felt (after viewing the exhibition) that the work I enjoyed the least would have...
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